Zambia coach Herve Renard has paid glowing tributes to Ghana midfielder Michael Essien – saying the Chelsea ace ought to be called ‘Sir’ for his sterling performances over the years.
The 30-year-old hugely impressed after coming on as a second half substitute to help the Black Stars to a 2-1 win over Zambia who had Herve – a former Ghana assistant coach – on their bench last Friday.
Essien was making his first appearance for the Black Stars after a two-year hiatus from international football.
Contrary to what many believed – that the former Lyon enforcer had lost a chunk of his energy in recent years and would struggle against the swift Zambians,
Essien went on to have probably one of his finest games for both club and country in recent times.
The composed and matured performance of the ex Real Madrid stabilized the rocking Ghana midfield at the time the Chipolopolo were well on top in Friday’s World Cup qualifier.
Zambia coach Herve Renard now says his team would have been better off had Essien continued with his international break while suggesting the Chelsea ace should be knighted and called ‘sir’.
“I don’t have a lot of experience, but I never coach or trained with a fantastic player like him [Essien],” he told Ghanasoccernet.com.
“During my time in Ghana I realized why some players are different. Essien was an amazing player and a great man.
“I think we have to call him ‘sir’. It would have been better for us if he was in London [with laughs].” Essien will again be key to Ghana going into the playoff stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
The Black Stars will head into a CAF draw on September 16 to determine its playoff opponent in the qualifiers for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
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